TORONTO – Nearly 5,000 Unifor members at Bell Canada’s clerical division have ratified a new collective agreement that gives Unifor jurisdiction over more current employees and includes paid domestic violence leave.
The national private-sector union says the four-year agreement includes wage increases, protections against job erosion and outsourcing, and adds more than 600 jobs to its bargaining unit that were previously not unionized or were part of a different union.
Unifor says that over the past 10 years, clerical employees at Bell experienced a concerted strategy to cut the workforce that eliminated more than half of the jobs in the bargaining unit.
The union says mental health at work was also a central issue raised throughout the negotiations with clerical division at Bell.
Enforceable under a memorandum agreement on mental health, members who experiences domestic violence will be allowed to take paid time off of work – in this case up to five days, often used to move.
The memorandum also provides that where there is verification from a recognized professional, an employee who is in an abusive or violent situation will not be subject to discipline if the absence can be linked to the situation.